Kafka a household name in the world of fiction presents one of his masterpieces The Metamorphosis which depicts a character who is transformed into a bug. This piece which is typically called “black comic” portrays the life of Gregor and how he lives after being transformed into a bug (Kafka, 2005). True to its billing, the author uses the bug to represent the sad state of affairs that humans often have to go through. The author who was born in Czechoslovakia is a German Jew who produced exceptional pieces over the years in which he spent as a writer although he actually did not want his work to be published.
The author starts the story of Gregor Samsa’s life by explaining how one morning after waking up from an anxious dreams found out that he had been transformed “into a horrible vermin” (Kafka, 2005). Gregor’s first worry is however not that he is transformed into a bug; he actually doesn’t give it much attention and only starts thinking of his job which he hates one of the main reasons being that he woke up early. When Gregor’s sister and father realize that he is still at home, they make attempts to enter his room where they find that he has closed all the doors.
Gregor finally adapts to this situation and then the author goes ahead to depict his experiences as a vermin. The author uses this symbol to highlight how humans are like bugs in a way, living in an absurd world where hostility is the order of the day. One of the major themes that Kafka has used to clear hummer his point home is the effects that money can have on human relationships. Gregor who is the main bread winner in the family finds himself in a situation where he is enslaved because of his status. The family does not view Gregor as a member of the family but they see him as their source of income. The author of this book has used money several times in order to clearly support his arguments about humans being compared to bugs in this world.
Gregor does not at all like his job but he knows that in this world that is the only way he has to survive and so he must work. This is clearly highlighted when Gregor feels sympathy for his family but finds solace believing that he will soon work it out and revert to normal. Gregor also gives his thoughts on what his workmates perceive towards his job position as a traveling salesman “people think that they earn pots of money and live a fine life”. This as the Gregor points out has earned him hate in the work place. The recurrence of the word money in the text as the author uses it in repetitive succession is used to highlight how money influences most of the relationships both at home and at work (Kafka, 2005).
The family discusses of how they will survive with the money they have which is barely enough and so they conclude that they have to work. The family explores all options on who should work, the father was old, the mother was somehow sick and his sister was young. Kafka has used money in this book to portray its effect on family relationships. He uses Gregor who turns into a bug to symbolize how a person can turn to be insignificant especially when one has no money. The author’s use of a bug illustrates how Gregor’s status has been degraded by his lack of working capacity which would translate to his diminished ability of bringing money to the family. The author this the story illustrates how the world lives in a sad state of affairs where money decides how people relate with each other.
- Kafka, F. (2005).The Metamorphosis: Literary Touchstone. Clayton: Prestwick House.